You might wonder why when you send a transfer from one Polish bank to another, sometimes it arrives the same day, and sometimes not. Or why your colleague at work receives the salary the same day the payslip is provided, but you receive it the next day. It is due to the complexity of the bank transfer system in Poland.

There is one national middleman taking care of transfers between the banks – it’s called Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa (KIR). The system KIR operates in is known as ELIXIR – it works within three sessions, or transferring windows, Monday to Friday: morning session (9.30-11 am, CEST), 1st-afternoon session (1.30-3 pm), and 2nd-afternoon session (4-5.30 pm).

However, each bank in Poland has its own six daily sessions set up – three outgoing and three incoming – and the configuration of those determines how long it would take for the transfer to reach the recipient. Please see the below tables to explore transfer sessions of the major Polish banks.

BankInbound session
1st session2nd session3rd session
BNP Paribas11.00-12.0014.20-15.0017.00
Citi Handlowy10.3014.3017.00
Pekao S.A.11.0015.0017.30
PKO BP11.3015.1017.30

BankOutbound session

1st session2nd session3rd session
BNP Paribas8.0011.4514.15
Citi Handlowy8.3012.3015.00
Pekao S.A.8.3012.3015.00
PKO BP8.0011.4514.30

Based on these two tables and the ELIXIR sessions schedule, you can estimate when the transfer you sent will reach a particular recipient or another way. Let’s work on an example. The sender uses ING and ordered the transfer to the recipient using Millennium at 1.40 pm, Tuesday. This means the transfer will leave ING within their last outbound session (11.31-14.30), then it will line up in the ELIXIR 1st-afternoon session (1.30-3 pm) and arrive at Millennium either via their 2nd (15.20) or 3rd (17.00) inbound session. Please note, should the transfer be ordered one hour later, it would arrive at Millennium only the next day around noon, as it would miss the last daily outbound session at ING and start the journey the next morning. And if that happened on Friday, the recipient would need to wait for the money until Monday.

It is crucial to be aware of those rules, especially when it comes to essential transfers when the timing might have significant repercussions. However, please note that most of the banks offer an emergency tool – instant transfer, which in most cases comes with an extra fee (depending on the bank’s tariff).

We hope you will find this article helpful in your daily life in Poland – stay tuned for more!

Best regards, Team

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